Ford Football Ferns confirm FIFA Women’s World Cup warm-up game vs Vietnam in Napier
The Ford Football Ferns have confirmed their first ever game in Ahuriri Napier as a warm-up international friendly match ahead of the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023.
The game will be the final public Ford Football Ferns match before the start of the home FIFA Women’s World Cup and will come at the end of the team’s pretournament training programme which starts in May.
Ford Football Ferns head coach Jitka Klimková sees this match as an important game for her side:
“We want to go into the FIFA Women’s World Cup in the best possible shape so playing a team like Vietnam just before the start of the tournament provides the right mix of opposition for us at this stage of our build-up campaign.
“We will have had the majority of the squad in our pretournament training programme for a number of weeks before the game so this match is the perfect opportunity to put what we will have been working on into action in a full international friendly environment.
“We also know how difficult things have been for the people of Hawke’s Bay this year, including for our players’ friends and families in the region, so wanted to make this game our final public match before the tournament and show our support to them.”
For Vietnam side, head coach Mai Duc Chung commented: “This will be an opportunity for us to check our preparations for the tournament. However, that time is also close to the game time, so we also need to have calculations to preserve our forces and limit injuries. It’s a match against one of the two hosts of the tournament so we really appreciate it.”
Mayor of Napier Kirsten Wise said:
“Napier is the perfect place to hold world-class events of all kinds, and top sporting fixtures are a special highlight.
“We are very proud to be hosting the Football Ferns for the first time. It’s particularly exciting to be a centre for football fever as New Zealand gets ready to co-host one of the largest sporting events in the world: the FIFA Women’s World Cup in 2023.”
The match in Napier is the eighth Ford Football Ferns home international fixture in the last 12 months following games in Ōtautahi Christchurch (November 2022), Te Whanganui-a-Tara Wellington (January 2023), Kirikiriroa Hamilton (February 2023) and Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland (January and February 2023).